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Faulty brain wiring may contribute to dyslexia

Adults with the disorder showed difficulty transmitting information among areas that process language

MISSING LINKS  Connections between language-processing regions of the brain (shown here as colored links in a diffusion tensor image) may be broken in people with dyslexia, new research finds. 

Hampered connections between brain regions that decipher spoken sounds may partly explain why people with dyslexia have trouble reading and spelling, researchers report in the Dec. 6 Science. Both activities require the ability to translate the sounds of language into meaning, which is an obstacle for people with dyslexia.

The new results provide some of the first support for an underdog hypothesis that broken bridges in the brain thwart these mental interpretations of sound information. Neuroscientists have traditionally held — and previous data have supported — the competing hypothesis that the learning disability arises from trouble properly distinguishing the sounds of language before they’re interpreted by the brain.

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